I’m Hooked on this Chalk Paint® Subway Technique!

A few weeks ago, I painted a dresser with a technique I learned from

Annie Sloan’s newest book, Color Recipes for Painted Furniture.

It was so much fun and I really love how it turned out!

Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint, painted in French Linen & Old White

Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint, painted in French Linen & Old White


  So when I found this very simple, Diamond-in-the-rough cabinet,

I knew I wanted to use the same paint technique.

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The first thing I did was clean the piece very well and roll on a coat of Shellac.

Shellac will seal the surface – I suspected the old, red stain would bleed into the paint.

Shellac will also seal in the musty odor of an old piece.

I rolled it on all the surfaces, inside and out, front and back.


Then I painted the doors with two coats of Old White Chalk Paint®.


I bought several different sizes of adhesive letters on Amazon.

A couple of the brands that I bought are Cosco Industries (not the same as Costco!) and C Thru Better Letter.

The ones that work the best are the repositionable ones.

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But it’s hard to find a large variety of those.  So I ended up buying some that weren’t repositionable.

They are hard to move around if you place them in the wrong place, but it is do-able if you are careful.

I didn’t do alot of measuring.  I eyeballed most of it because Annie says it looks more natural that way and I agree.

But I chickened out and used some blue tape as guides in some places!

After all the letters are in place, paint two coats of French Linen Chalk Paint® over everything.

When it’s dry, start removing the letters.


I used my fingernail to pry up an edge of each letter then pull it off gently.  The repositionable letters will remove easily.

The other ones will make you a bit crazy, but it’s worth it!

Here is an example of a letter that didn’t want to come off.

I ended up using a bit of mineral spirits to remove the stubborn adhesive.

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As you can see, you will need to do a bit of touch up after all the letters are removed.

A small artists brush will work to fix the areas that need it.

After the touch up,  I used some medium grit sandpaper to sand all the lettered surfaces.

I wanted to soften some of the crisp edges to make the words look more aged.

For the final steps, apply Clear Soft Wax over everything.

Remove the excess Clear Soft Wax and apply Dark Soft Wax as desired.

Remove the excess Dark Soft Wax.

Add three wire baskets for see-through storage.


I found some reproduction vintage knobs that look great!

This piece is more distressed than I usually like, but it works.




Linking to Furniture Feature Fridays

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